Friday, November 4, 2011

Bistro Macaroni and Cheese

I’m going to apologize right off the bat for posting this recipe. It’s luxurious and decadent and not the least bit healthy. But this dressed-up version of mac and cheese is also such a delicious indulgence that I just can’t keep myself from sharing it with you. So I’m sorry for posting it in all its lavish, calorie-laden glory, because I know you’re going to want to make it immediately.

The sauce for this mac and cheese is made up of cream and spreadable garlic and herb cheese, and that’s just about it. It’s loaded with flavor and has such a silky, rich texture. The original recipe called for an entire quart of cream, but I cut the amount by half, and I found that amount to be plenty. Add in some bacon and some chicken flavored simply with salt, pepper, and rosemary, and the end product is nothing short of perfection.

Bistro Macaroni and Cheese
adapted from the Los Angeles Times

1 16-ounce box pasta (I used shells)
1 medium onion, finely diced
2 tablespoons butter
1 pint heavy cream
1 6.5-ounce container garlic and herb spreadable cheese
4 strips of bacon, diced
2 boneless skinless chicken breasts
Salt and pepper to taste
2 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary

1. In a large pot of salted, boiling water, cook the pasta to al dente according to the package instructions, about 10 minutes. Drain and set aside.

2. Heat a medium, heavy-bottom pot over medium heat until hot. Saute the onions in the butter until softened, then add the heavy cream. Reduce the heat to a gentle simmer and reduce by a third, 8 to 10 minutes.

3. Whisk in the cheese until melted and incorporated, then stir in the pasta. Remove from heat and reserve the macaroni and cheese, still in the pan, in a warm place.

4. While the pasta is cooking, fry the bacon in a large skillet until crisp; remove to paper towels to drain. Season the chicken breasts with salt, pepper, and rosemary. Cook in the reserved bacon grease until the juices run clear and chicken is crispy. Remove from heat and let rest, then slice into strips.

5. Stir the chicken into the macaroni, then stir in the bacon, tossing to coat. Reserve some chicken strips for the top of each serving, if desired (I added some chicken strips back into the bacon grease to make them really crispy for added texture). Serve immediately.


Aarthi said...

YUM YUM.Totally awesome...Thanks for the recipe dear.will try soon..

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Debbie said...

If I made this I don't know how much my son and husband would even be able to get....I think I would just go for it all by myself. Cassie, this is one great recipe!

Sarah - The Home Cook said...

This looks ridiculous. I can't wait to try it. :)

Amber said...

This looks great! I am thinking the philly cooking creme would be perfect in this. It is so going on my menu for next week!

Abby said...

Looks like a perfect Saturday night meal! Baaaacon.